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EXCLUSIVE: CBS to Launch Digital Channels

CBS will soon announce the rollout of its first digital subchannels, which are slated to launch in New York and Los Angeles in the third quarter. Content will be comprised of local news from the various TV and sports/ news radio stations in a given market, likely supplemented by CBS’ deep vault of programming from company properties including CNET.

While stations’ ventures onto the digital tier have been lightly watched, and sparsely sponsored, CBS Corp. President/CEO Leslie Moonves suggests the company’s programming assets and unique approach will make much more of an impact than the typical news and weather filler found on a station’s .2.

The launch will bring CBS on par with the ABC (Live Well Network) and NBC (Nonstop) O&O groups. Anton Guitano, CBS Local Media Group COO, describes the as-yet untitled channels as “natural extensions” of the new local CBS Websites. Of course, CBS may be hard-pressed to make real revenue off the .2 venture, at least in the near term.